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Thursday, 8 November 1973
Page: 1651

The PRESIDENT -Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Senator WRIGHT -Mr President,noticing for the first time from the record of the proceedings of this chamber that you ordered me to resume my seat yesterday, I unreservedly tender to the Chair an apology for non-compliance with that order. I assure you, Mr President, that at the time I was called on for an explanation yesterday I was quite unconscious of the fact that you had so ordered me and had not at any time heard you do so.

Having offered tothe Chair that unreserved apology, I wish to add twothings, not in justification but in explanation. Firstly, when I sought leave I conceived that I was entitled to have that put to the Senate instead of a rejection by you, Mr President, as the record shows to have been the case. Secondly, I wish to suggest to you, Sir, with the utmost respect, that consideration be given to the wisdom of reviving a traditional procedure, out of courtesy to the honourable senator who has the floor and whose right to speak is a very jealous one, of the President rising, if the honourable senator is to be interrupted by a direction to curtail his speech, to make known to the honourable senator the deliberation that, of course, would obviously precede a direction of that sort. I put those matters to you, Sir, in the utmost brevity and, needless to say, with respect.

The PRESIDENT - I am glad that Senator Wright has raised this matter, if for no other reason than that I am grateful that he should now feel that he had offended although he did not realise, at the time, that he had offended. I would also like to assure the honourable senator, with whom I have been associated in and out of the Parliament for nearly a quarter of a century, that I have never found myself involved in a more distasteful process than that in which I found myself involved yesterday when I named him.

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